With the shock news of Jonas Folger opting to sit out of the 2018 MotoGP season for Monster Yamaha Tech3 due to illness it leaves a huge opportunity for a rider to step-in at the satellite Yamaha squad.

In November Folger had been diagnosed with 'Gilbert Syndrome' and put on a special diet, with the young German pledging to make a comeback in 2018 after missing the final four rounds of his rookie MotoGP season.

But in a dramatic twist, Folger’s manager Bob Moore made a call to Tech3 boss Herve Poncharal on Tuesday night to say the German rider wouldn’t be able to contest the 2018 MotoGP season as he focused on his health and recovery.

As a result, Poncharal has just weeks to fill a race seat next to Johann Zarco at the Tech3 squad, with the first official MotoGP test in Sepang only 10 days away, with the majority of likely candidates already signed up on race contracts for the upcoming season.

Therefore the option to replace Folger is wide open with a huge number of potential candidates.

Yamaha could shuffle its current rider pack to see Michael van der Mark or Alex Lowes switch from World Superbikes to MotoGP having both acted as replacement riders in recent seasons but would need to release them from their existing contracts.

Elsewhere one of the biggest unsigned names (at least officially) is 2014 World Superbike champion Sylvain Guintoli but he currently has links to the factory Suzuki squad or could Yamaha look further afield to MotoAmerica?

Who do you think should replace Folger at Tech3 for the 2018 MotoGP season?

Crash will be running Forum debates every day during the winter in preparation for the 2018 season debating a range of topics and issues – but you can submit your own ideas here.

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